In October 2016, when a recording emerged that showed President Donald Trump speaking crudely about women, then-first lady Michelle Obama was full of things to say.
“This is not something that we can ignore, it is not something we can sweep under the rug as just another disturbing footnote in a sad election season,” she said then. “Because this was not a lewd conversation, this was not just locker room banter. This was a powerful individual, speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior.”
Fast forward to October 2017, when Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstin is all over the news with allegations of multiple cases of sexual harassment dating back decades.
Neither Michelle nor Barack Obama made a comment until Tuesday, when they issued a succinct condemnation.
NEW: Pres Obama & Michelle Obama say they're "disgusted by the recent reports about Harvey Weinstein." pic.twitter.com/9h4RnbegtB
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) October 10, 2017
But at one time, Michelle Obama could not say enough about Weinstein.
“I want to start by thanking Harvey Weinstein for organizing this amazing day,” Michelle Obama said at a November 2013 White House event for high school students. “Harvey. This is possible because of Harvey. He is a wonderful human being, a good friend and just a powerhouse.”
He was also a big giver. As The New York Times noted in an editorial, “Among his biggest beneficiaries are President Barack Obama, whose daughter was an intern with Mr. Weinstein’s company this year.”
The Times then slammed the silence of those who claimed to be outraged at Trump, but gave Weinstein a free pass.
For example, Michelle Obama had this to say about sexual harassment in 2016: “It reminds us of stories we heard from our mothers and grandmothers about how, back in their day, the boss could say and do whatever he pleased to the women in the office and even though they worked so hard, jumped over every hurdle to prove themselves, it was never enough.”
In that context, The Times found their days of silence revolting.
“There has been no comment from Mr. Obama or Mrs. Clinton, who condemned Donald Trump for boasting of sexual assault on the ‘Access Hollywood’ tape. These Democratic leaders, admired by many young women and men, should make clear that Mr. Weinstein also deserves condemnation,” The Times’ editorial board wrote.
“If such powerful leaders take the money and stay mum, who will speak for women like Mr. Weinstein’s accusers?”
Clinton later did issue a condemnation of Weinstein five days after the news broke about his sexual harassment cases.
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